Amina, a 16-year-old girl from Larache in northern Morocco, who was forced to marry her rapist, chose to put an end to her life by swallowing rat poison last Saturday. According to al-Masa'a [ar], Amina was raped by a man ten years older than her when she was barely 15. And to preserve what is called “family honour”, Amina's marriage to her rapist, was arranged. A judge approved the marriage.
According to the same newspaper, Amina took the rat poison while she was in her husband's (rapist's) house. When he noticed that her health was deteriorating, he rushed her to her family's home. On the way he did not stop beating her, said Amina to her family, a few hours before her death.
Amina's story deeply touched and outraged Moroccan netizens, who have been using the Twitter has tag #RIPAmina to mourn the young girl. Here are some reactions:
@Un_Marocain: En tant que marocain, je me sens plus coupable que triste pour ce qui est arrivé à cette petite fille. #RIPAmina #Maroc
@nadalouis: I don't wanna live in a world were a girl has to choose between marrying her rapist or taking her own life #RIPAmina
@mahamiou: How many Amina's are out there ? Forced to marry their rapist ? #Morocco #RIPAmina
@mahi_elbarrad: عندما ينظر العالم العربى للمراة على انها مخلوق مثل الرجل له كافة الحقوق وكامل الاحترام هنا فقط تنجح ثورته #RIPAMINA
@citizenkayen: La famille, la société et la justice ont donné au violeur un véritable RIP: Rape In Peace :( #RIPAmina
@Tindars: Et puis comme d'habitude nos Tweets ne changeront absolument rien dans cette histoire. #RipAmina
‘Amina is my Bouazizi’
In homage to Amina, Moroccan blogger Mehdi B. Idrissi wrote a post entitled Amina is my Bouazizi. His reference is Mohammed Bouazizi, the street vendor from Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia, who set himself alight in protest against police abuse, triggering a massive wave of protests that led to the Tunisian revolution and the fall of the Ben Ali regime.
Bouazizi's desperate act of self immolation brought change to Tunisia, but will Amina's suicide bring change to the male dominated culture in Morocco, and in the Arab region?
Bouazizi might’ve started a political revolution; But Amina has triggered the awakening of the long sleeping humanitarian in me. Thousands of girls like her are spread above our ground, most of them silenced by force and threat. While you guys are centered in finding Joseph Kony in the deep forests of Uganda, your kids are being stolen from you in your own land. I can sit here all day haranguing my despair, sobbing the death of what one day could be my daughter or my friend, it won’t change much. If we don’t do this together, if we don’t strife hard to change this Moroccan mentality we’re being trapped in we won’t reach far.